B.C. residents still stuck in Puerto Vallarta as storm weakens

Written by admin on 26/07/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

B.C. residents are still stuck in Puerto Vallarta after Hurricane Patricia roared through southwestern Mexico Friday.

While there have been no reports of catastrophic damage, or fatalities, Mexican officials are asking locals and tourists to stay in place for safety’s sake.

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“As typical Canadians everybody has been pretty laid-back,” said tourist Kelly Wainwright. “The staff has been absolutely awesome here in our complex. Everybody’s sticking pretty close together in the rooms and the staff has recommended to just stay in our rooms.”

Forecasters warned that a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest ever recorded at sea in the Western Hemisphere, could make a “potentially catastrophic landfall” on Friday.

Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Enrique de la Madrid, said major tourist resorts like Puerto Vallarta had had “extraordinary luck” in avoiding damage from the once immensely powerful storm.

“There are some mountains that served as a barrier, and that at the end of the day is what prevented the winds from having to come through here,” he said of Vallarta.

Patricia weakened to tropical storm force by dawn Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 80 kph and was expected to dissipate over Mexico’s inland mountains. Its centre was about 55 kilometres northeast of Zacatecas. It was moving toward the north-northeast at 33 kph.

“We’re here. There’s not much we can do about it. We’re basically alone. We’re just going to have to fend for ourselves as far as our food and stuff goes,” said tourist Rob Booth.

Cheri Bojcic, a Chilliwack resident who is in Nuevo Vallarta, just west of Puerto Vallarta, was part of the evacuations from her hotel Friday afternoon.

“They haven’t really been giving us a lot of information,” she said. “We found out last night that we needed to stay in our rooms as of 7 p.m. until further notice and no further notice came.”

She said she was not told exactly where they would be going. “They told my dad that we’re actually going to the parkade behind our hotel.”

WATCH: Chilliwack tourist caught off guard by Hurricane Patricia:

Bojcic said she is trying not to be scared, but she has her two young daughters with her so she is concerned for their safety. Her group is five in total.

“Right now there’s a little light rain and it’s completely overcast. It’s just cloudy.”

She said they have about three bottles of water and some leftover pizza, but that’s all they have for supplies.

“We’re going to ride it out in the parking garage.”

PHOTO: West Kelowna resident in Puerto Vallarta says the city has been “shut down” ahead of the storm:

WATCH: Mexico braces for impact from massive Hurricane Patricia:

Quinn Marshall from Abbotsford is currently at the Grand Marshal Resort, about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. He said they have received numerous messages this morning from friends and family at home, making sure they are OK. “[Staff] said the best bet is to stay here and not leave the resort and we’re doing just that,” he said.

“It’s a little stressful.”

Marshall said they are supposed to leave on Sunday but he does not know if that is going to happen. He actually proposed to his fiance on the plane journey to Mexico.

“It’s going to be a trip to remember either way,” he said.

Fox Kehler lives in Puerto Vallarta and owns a cafe there. He said since about 8 a.m. this morning, police were driving around the streets and announcing to residents that they had to secure their homes and close businesses after 12 p.m.

“Our home is in the back of our restaurant. We’re two blocks off the ocean, so we’ll be fine. We have a lot of restaurant supplies so we’ll be fine,” he said, adding that the weather is still fairly calm.

“We’re still sitting and waiting,” he said.

“From what we hear, they moved all the people out of the beach hotels. It’s a very different town when there’s nobody on the streets.”

WATCH: Puerto Vallarta businessman Fox Kehler has more on evacuation efforts and how local businesses are preparing: 

B.C. native Ron Vandenberg, who works at RE/MAX Marina in Puerto Vallarta, says right now the weather is still fairly calm there.

“We’ve moved all the stuff that could fly through the air inside or safely away and made sure we have lots of water, food and the odd shot of tequila available,” he said.

“The biggest problem I think, personally, are the people who don’t have the resources and are in vulnerable places. I know a lot of my friends are taking people into their homes and into the [Sierra Madre ] Mountains.”

He said right now, he is feeling as secure as he can be, and is just hoping there isn’t too much damage.

“You do the best that you can and wait for it. I can’t go anywhere because the roads are clogged out of town.”

Helping get food ready ahead of Hurricane Patricia hitting land.

With maximum sustained winds near 325 kph, Patricia is the strongest storm ever recorded in the eastern Pacific or in the Atlantic.

Jeannie Dixon says her friends in Puerto Vallarta are being evacuated via bus from their resort to the university. We are hoping to get an update from them later today.

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